Jan 6 2012

Public Health News Roundup: January 6

CDC Advisory Committee Recommends Lowering Threshold That Defines Lead Poisoning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention has recommended that the federal government change the standard for lead poisoning from 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood to 5 micrograms. Lead exposure can impact a child’s mental and cognitive development. This is the first time in two decades that the panel has recommended lowering the levels.

The CDC will decide whether to accept or reject the panel’s recommendation later this year. Accepting the recommendation could mean that housing and health departments would have to strengthen efforts to remove lead based paint from homes. Read more on housing and health.

Electronic Cigarettes May Impact Lungs Soon After First Puff

Electronic cigarettes, often marketed as a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, affect a user’s lungs within just five minutes of puffing on the device, according to a new study in the journal Chest. Short-term effects are similar to some of the effects seen with tobacco smoking, however the long-term health effects of e-cigarette use are unknown, say study authors. Read more tobacco news.

Over Half of U.S. Jails Received No Vaccines during Recent H1N1 Outbreak

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 55 percent of jails received no doses of the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009-2010 outbreak. Jails typically house healthy men, but people at particular risk for flu adverse events, such as pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions, are often inmates at jails as well, according to the report. Read more on the flu.

Tags: Flu, Housing, News roundups, Public and Community Health, Safety, Tobacco, Vaccines